College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea
Canine thyroid neoplasia is rare and most likely to be malignant. Treatment options for a thyroid carcinoma include surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
To present and discuss the clinical outcome of permanent tracheostomy in a dog with thyroid carcinoma.
A 12-year-old, castrated male Shih-Tzu was referred for severe dyspnea associated with thyroid carcinoma. Survey radiographs and computed tomography revealed that tumor invaded hyoid bone, tracheal cartilage, esophagus and sternohyoid muscle. Retropharyngeal lymph node was enlarged, and right internal jugular vein was surrounded by the mass. There was no pulmonary metastasis.
It was impossible to totally remove the mass and therefore permanent tracheostomy was performed near the thoracic inlet. The patient has been treated with doxorubicin as a single agent at a dose of 1 mg/kg given intravenously at 3-week intervals. The patient's respiration and quality of life have improved since the operation. Tumor size was not changed noticeably, and there was no complication related to permanent tracheostomy during 14 months.
Surgical excision of the thyroid mass was the primary treatment for thyroid tumor. However, the mass was immobile and invaded surrounding tissue; it was difficult to remove the whole mass. Permanent tracheostomy can be managed in the patients with dyspnea and obstruction of airway as palliative therapy. It could improve the quality of life in dogs with respiratory problems due to thyroid carcinoma.